Once again I am late on the uptake. Let me explain…
I purchased Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone when every one else was lining up at my local Dymocks store to purchase the second instalment of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter. I started reading Terry Pratchett in 2010 when I read in the local press about a thing called the Australian Discworld Convention to be held in my own backyard. Mind you, I had no idea who Terry Pratchett was, but you could costume up! The best reason to investigate and start reading his stories.
Likewise, I first read one of Tansy Rayner Roberts’ books in 2019 – Splashdance Silver published in 1998. I’d heard her name mentioned once or twice by friends, but once again, the announcement she’d be attending an Aust. Discworld Convention, this time in Melbourne, was a huge nudge in the right direction.
Power and Majesty is the first book in the Creature Court trilogy. First published in 2010, I’m behind by about eleven years. The blurb from Goodreads:
“A war is being fought in the skies over the city of Aufleur. No one sees the battles. No one knows how close they come to destruction every time the sun sets. During daylight, all is well, but when nox falls and the sky turns bright, someone has to step up and lead the Creature Court into battle.
Twelve years ago, Garnet kissed Velody and stole her magic. Five years ago, he betrayed Ashiol, and took his powers by force. But now the Creature Court is at a crossroads … they need a Power and Majesty who won’t give up or lose themselves in madness …”
First of all, I thought I’d chosen another YA Fantasy book. But the very descriptive sex scenes in later chapters, reminded me it is definitely adult fiction. In the first chapters, we meet Velody as a young girl of fourteen. But here’s what I found interesting – instead of using a prologue, Tansy brings us to the now by speeding through the years of events; to Velody, now 26 years old, and to the current state of affairs, when the Creature Court is at it’s crossroads (as per the Blurb). The role of those chapters caused some confusion, but it eventually made sense.
I loved how she develops the characters, the detailed descriptions of the wonderful costumes and the characters themselves.
“…he walked down from the sky as if there were stairs beneath his feet…He wore his nakedness like armour, and his skin had a lantern glow about it.”
I felt their desires, triumphs and pain. I loved Velody’s friends and their relationship with each other. Strong women in their own right. Her new friends, not sure that’s the right word for them, are a mixture of tough arrogance and vulnerability. Even though one of those characters, Macready, is described by Tansy as islander, I could not get Gimli’s (LOR) brogue voice out of my head.
This book has a similar theme to The Hush by Skye Melke-Wegner (YA Fantasy) -Both have their own badness in a different realm of the city that ordinary folk of that city know nothing about. Tansy added another little gold nugget about that, but that would be telling. Oh, and there’s a twist…I love a twist.
I found this book hard to put down. I received it as a free download, but have just purchased the next book in the trilogy – The Shattered City and can’t wait to start it.
I gave it 4 stars.
**All book links are to Goodreads.com so you can choose your preferred purchase option.
**All links are unsponsored.
**The next Australian Discworld Convention will be held in Sydney, April 2022. Follow the link to their website. If interested there will be an online event July 3rd, 2021 – use the same link.